For the fifth consecutive year, yesterday, events were held throughout Europe in the frame of the European Cooperation Day 2016 (EC Day 2016) under the auspices of the European Commission and the INTERACT programme. The aim was to present the projects and programmes by the Member States that are implemented with funds from the European Regional Development Fund. Slovenia and Austria have in the frame of their cooperation already implemented a number of successful cross-border projects in the field of entrepreneurship, tourism, culture, regional development, natural heritage, environment, energy, etc., which constitute the identity of the border region. Some of them have been visited by the participants of yesterday’s hike to the three-corners border in the cross-border region of Slovenia, Austria and Hungary, which was, in the frame of the EC Day 2016, organized by the cross-border cooperation programmes between Slovenia and Austria and between Slovenia and Hungary in the programme period 2014-2020.
The group of a bit more than 100 participants went by bus from Maribor to visit the castle in Grad in Goričko. The route led the participants to Trdkova where they walked to the “tromejnik” the border stone between Slovenia, Austria and Hungary, where they were welcomed by the Director of the European Territorial Cooperation Office at the Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Development and European Cohesion Policy, the Managing Authority of the cross-border cooperation programmes, mag. Nina Seljak, and the majors of the border municipalities Kuzma, Gornji Senik/Oberzemming and Sv. Martin na Rabi/St. Martin an der Raab. As mag. Nina Seljak explained, with the cooperation in the frame of the European Cooperation Day, Slovenia wants to demonstrate that our common borders join us in the context of cross-border cooperation programmes. “These programmes aim at achieving the central objective of the EU cohesion policy, namely to increase economic and social cohesion of the participating countries with a view to promoting harmonious, balanced and sustainable development,” she stressed and wished cross-border partners a lot of openness for new ideas and a lucky hand and a lot of courage with the preparation and implementation of projects.
Based on the published open calls for the submission of projects in the frame of the cooperation programmes, the first subsidy contracts have already been signed. Yesterday, two contracts were signed symbolically, namely for the project MMO3D, which will be co-financed in the frame of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria and for the project Green Exercise, which will be co-financed in the frame of the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Hungary. The project MMO3D has the goal of developing a robot cell for 3D printing of composite, light and natural materials. For this purpose, a new technology of 6-axial printing with fiber manipulator will be developed, which will enable manufacturing of geometrically more complex products from high-strength lightweight materials. The final product will be an ultralight casing for batteries for electric vehicles. The aim of the project Green Exercise is the joint promotion of existing cross-border cultural and natural tourist offer of the Slovenian-Hungarian border area, with particular emphasis on a healthy lifestyle, sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transport (especially cycling). In this framework, the creation of “green parks” on both sides of the border is planned.
The participants also visited the Apple House in Gornji Senik/Oberzemming, the museum of Slovenians from the Porabje region in Monošter/St. Gotthard and the castle Tabor in the nature park Raab, where the project 321 go, which is already being implemented in the frame of the cross-border Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A Slovenia-Austria, was presented. The project 321 go – 3 castles 2 countries 1 history, was approved in the frame of the 1st deadline of the Open Call for the submission of applications. The main objective of the project is the creation of a sustainable cultural tourism destination in the rural border area of Southern Burgenland (Austria) and the Pomurje region (Slovenia), based on the processing of cultural heritage through the introduction of new cultural tourism products. The main target group are visitors of the area who are interested in culture, traditions and history in connection with experiencing the unspoiled natural environment.
Furthermore, the event was among others an opportunity to exchange experiences, opinions and for a relaxed get-together of representatives of various Slovenian, Austrian and Hungarian institutions.